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Barbarella le Semble-Lune (1977), published by Pierre Horay. Cover art by Jean-Claude Forest.
|Created by||Jean-Claude Forest|
|Formats||Original material for the series has been published as a strip in the comics anthology(s) V-Magazine, Evergreen Review and Heavy Metal and a set of graphic novels.|
|Publication date||1962 – 1964|
|The series has been reprinted, at least in part, in English.|
Jean-Claude Forest created the character of Barbarella for serialization in the French magazine V-Magazine in spring 1962, and in 1964 Eric Losfeld later published these strips as a stand-alone book, under the title Barbarella. The stand-alone version caused a scandal and became known as the first "adult" comic-book, despite its eroticism being slight and the existence of the Tijuana bibles well before this date.
Although published by a traditional company, the book anticipated the sexual revolution. For her creator, the character embodied the modern emancipated woman in the era of sexual liberation. This work is associated with the sexual revolution. The struggle for sexual freedom in comics was most prominently conducted in France through emancipated female characters like Barbarella (1962), Jodelle (1966), Pravda (1967), Scarlet Dream (1981), Saga de Xam (1967), Wolinski's Paulette (1971). Notable works in this trend outside of France have been Phoebe Zeit-Geist (1965) and Vampirella (1969) in USA, Modesty Blaise (1963) in the UK, Valentina (1965) and Angiolini's Isabella (1966) in Italy.
- Barbarella: A young woman who travels from planet to planet and has numerous adventures, often involving sex (the aliens she meets often seduce her, and she also experiments with a "machine excessive" or "orgasmotron"). The original comic book version of Barbarella was probably modeled on Brigitte Bardot (note the Bs and Rs in the names), who was once married to the director of the 1968 film, Roger Vadim. Vadim's third wife, Jane Fonda, starred as Barbarella in the 1968 movie based on the character.
- Duran: A one-eyed old man who helps Barbarella.
- Pygar: A blind 'angel' guided by Barbarella, he is the last of the ornithanthropes (bird-men).
- La Reine noire (The Black Queen): A villainess who reigns in the town of Sogo, surrounded by a maze, on the planet Lythion.
- Lio: A brown-haired teenage girl saved by Barbarella who must save the town governed by her father in Les Colères du mange-minutes. (The chanteuse Lio drew her stage name from this character.)
- Mado: Female prostitute robot (gynoïde), whose "breakdown" Barbarella repairs.
- Narval: An "aiguiote" (aquatic man) who comes from Citerne IV to complete his scientific research in Les Colères du mange-minutes.
- L'artiste: A self-portrait of Jean-Claude Forest. Named Browningwell in Semble Lune, he and Barbarella have a child together.
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- Barbarella (originally serialized in "V-Magazine", 1962; book by Eric Losfeld, 1964)
- Les Colères du Mange-Minutes [The Wrath Of The Minute Eater] (Kesselring, 1974)
- Le Semble-Lune [The False Moon] (Horay, 1977, ISBN 2-7058-0045-X)
- Le Miroir aux Tempêtes [The Storm Mirror] (Albin Michel, 1982) (art by Daniel Billon, ISBN 2-226-01441-1)
Barbarella also guest-stars in Mystérieuse, Matin, Midi et Soir [Mysterious, Morning, Noon And Evening] (originally serialized in "Pif", 1971; book: Serg, 1972)
1980s pop band Duran Duran takes its name from a character in the 1968 film Barbarella: Barbarella's mission in the film is to find a scientist named Durand Durand (pronounced "Duran Duran"). In addition, one of the band's hit songs is entitled "Electric Barbarella".
The Hungarian Omega band had a song titled "Oh, Barbarella" in the early 1970s.
Barbarella is also mentioned in Serge Gainsbourg's song "Qui est In Qui est Out".
The British Funk band Capri recorded the song "Barbarella" in 2000, releasing it four years later on the Boogie Man album. Although titled Barbarella, it was an original song and not a cover of the song used in the 1968 film.
"Barbarella as a Boy" is the title of a song by Devil May Cry, a former project of singer-songwriter Izzy Novak.
An aged Barbarella appeared in Forest's Mysterious Morning, Noon and Evening.
The character is mentioned in the MIA song, Bamboo Banga.
- A Barbarella film adaptation was made in 1968.
- A Barbarella musical based on the film was produced in 2004.
- A Barbarella TV series is in development with writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, and Martha De Laurentiis, widow of the film's producer Dino De Laurentiis, are all involved.In May 2013, Refn revealed to Vulture that they're still writing, also they're going back to the original comics and there's no casting for the series yet.